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Voters in Kandiyohi County and other areas across the region turn out in droves; few problems were reported

WILLMAR -- Voter turnout was at or near 90 percent in some area counties during the general election on Tuesday, while other counties reported voter turnout of less than 80 percent

The difference was partially because auditors figure turnout differently.

Some auditors, like Sam Modderman from Kandiyohi County, determined there was a 78 percent voter turnout here by comparing the number of voters to the total number of registered voters, which includes those registered by 7 a.m. Tuesday plus the number of people who registered on Election Day.

Byron Giese, Swift County au-ditor, got a 90.8 percent voter turnout be-cause he only used the 7 a.m. voter registration total.

That's the same method that Yellow Medicine County Auditor Lois Bonde used to determine the county's 88.8 percent of voter turnout there.

Bonde said some of the people who registered Tuesday were already on file, but perhaps with a different name or different address, which means the total number of registered voters may not reflect the actual number of people registered to vote.

Meeker County Auditor Barb Loch also used just the 7 a.m. registered voter tally to come up with the county's 89.1 percent of voter turnout.

Using the total number of registered voters, Larry Jacobs, Renville County auditor, said the turnout was 77.5 percent there. By using just the 7 a.m. registration figures, voter turnout was 86.8 percent in Renville County.

Despite the high number of voters, county auditor's reported few, if any, problems.

The next step is to gear up for the recount of the ballots cast for the U.S. Senate race.

Each county will have teams of counters, with representatives from both political parties, to hand-count the ballots in the counties where the ballots were cast.

The process needs to take place between Nov. 19 and Dec. 5.

Jacobs said the possibility of a recount "comes with having elections." He said he's "done them before" and the state rules will be followed exactly as required.

With 22,000 ballots to count in Kandiyohi County, Modderman said he expects several teams will be put to work to count the ballots precinct by precinct.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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